For a state that has built its future vision on “green” industry, this is both ironic and tragic. It may not bother the Legislature, whose welfare state is now being propped up by windfall tech profits, but it leaves many localities outside the Silicon Valley exposed to more job and company losses. Think of Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto, who concedes the struggle to keep companies around is becoming ever more difficult. “A company can easily see where it would benefit by relocating someplace else,” Scotto said.
Even so, it is unlikely that Toyota’s leaving will impact the state’s leftward political trajectory. After all, if the New York Times regularly describes the California economy – fattened by stock market and real estate gains of the very rich – as “booming,” why should Gov. Brown, about to run for re-election, say otherwise, proclaiming to anyone who will listen that “California is back.”
True, California may not be in a Depression, as some conservatives contend, but it’s hardly accurate to proclaim the Golden State as back from the brink. But, if having among the country’s highest unemployment rates, the worst poverty levels, based on living costs, and being home to one-third of all U.S. welfare recipients can’t persuade the gentry about California’s true condition, Toyota’s move certainly won’t.